What if I told you you could make 5+ yards of continuous bias tape with just a 20″x20″ fabric square? Pretty amazing right? In this tutorial I’m going to explain to you how to make continuous bias tape in just 10 steps.
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: 3 / 5
- 20″x20″ fabric square
- scissors/rotary cutter
- fabric marker
- big ruler
- sewing machine
- (optional) bias maker
With this technique you’ll be able to make tons of bias trim from your favourite fabrics. No more sad pre-made bias trims, from now on you’ll turn each of your creations into something really special and customised!
This method allows you to make either single or double bias. The single bias tape is simply a stripe folded in half and once sewed (i.e. to finish a neckline) it will either be visible on the inside or on the outside. The double bias consists of 4 layers of folded fabric so that once sewed it will enclose the edge and be visible on both sides.
So let’s see how to make continuous bias tape with this easy method. Ready? Let’s begin!
How to choose the right fabric
Before we get started, I just want to tell you a couple things on how to choose the best fabric to make DIY bias trim. While it’s certainly true that every woven fabric has stretch on the bias (i.e. at a 45-degree angle from the straight grain) what’s also true is that not every fabric is right for making a good qualità bias trim.
So how to choose the right one? What we’re looking for is fabric having a good elasticity on the bias, i.e. fabrics that once pulled won’t stretch out of shape. When you want to make some bias tape, just test your fabric: if it has this good stretch quality then you’re good to go!
The bias trims we often find in shop are pure cotton or polyester satin and they usually come in solid colours. Printed cottons are available too but they’re often pretty expensive. With this technique you can make bias trim out of your favourite fabric, with cottons as well as pure silks or anything matches your project.
Mark and cut the square of fabric diagonally to form two triangles.
On the wrong side of the fabric, starting from side 1, mark a straight line 2″ from the edge and parallel to it with a fabric marker.
Continue drawing parallel lines at the same distance until you reach side 2. Get rid of the excess fabric at the top.
With 2″ stripes you’ll have either 1″ single bias trim including 1/2″ seam allowance or 1/2″ double bias trim with 1/2″ seam allowance. Changing the size of your final bias trim is pretty easy. If you’d like your bias tape’s final width to be x” your stripes should be x*2 + seam allowance*2 wide.
Note #1: based on the elasticity of your fabric on the bias there might be some variation in the final width. When sewed and pressed some fabrics may stretch a bit and the trim would get narrower. You can balance this effect by making slightly wider stripes.
Note #2: if you’re using a bias maker follow the instructions included to learn how wide the stripes should be.
Place the fabric on your table right side up and bring the left and right hand sides towards the center aligning them so that you see the stripes running continuously from left to right. To do that, the two sides must be shifted by one row as shown in the pictures below (click on the picture to zoom in).
Now bring the two edges right sides together, and pin them 1/4″ from the edge. To make sure the lines will perfectly match from one side to the other after they’re sewed together, slide the pin through the first layer of fabric 1/4″ from the raw edge at the line, then slide it through the second layer of fabric in correspondence to the marked line, as shown below. Continue pinning the fabric along the edge using the same technique. The result should look similar to the last picture below.
This step is key to success!
First time I tried to make continuous bias tape I just pinned the two sides together but the result was horrible! Besides, it’s very difficult to have the lines match once sewed unless you pin correctly.
If you want to make single bias trim as the one shown below, just fold the stripe in half and give it a good press while gently pulling it (this will stretch it a bit and make it more stable).
If what you want is a good double bias trim, you can either use a little tool called bias maker (I talk about it here) or do it by hand. In this last case, start with a folded single bias trim. Open the fold and fold each end in half toward the centre fold. Give it a good press and…tada!
You just made 5+ yards of bias tape from just a 20″x20″ square.
Now pat yourself on the shoulder and go get a sweet treat…you made it!
That’all for today’s tutorial on how to make continuous bias tape in 10 steps. Once you get a hold of this technique, you’ll see it’s pretty easy and it allows you to customise any of your creations with your special touch..
Did you know this continuous bias technique? Did you ever try it? Let me know in the comments!
And if you give it a try share your accomplishments on Instagram tagging @the_yellow_peg_it to let me see your progress!
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